Review: Michelle Brasier: Reform

A scammer in need is a friend indeed

comedy review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
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Michelle Brasier
Photo by Nick Robertson
Published 18 Aug 2023

All Michelle Brasier wanted was a Pilates Reformer. And she stumbled upon a bargain on Facebook Marketplace, going for a mere quarter of its retail value. The workout equipment never arrived, yet 500 AUD departed from Brasier's bank account. The cash went straight into the grasping hands of Jacob – an undeserving scoundrel overspilling with duplicitous bullshit.

An undeserving man in many respects, perhaps. But not for Brasier. She would adhere to the belief that love is most needed when it's least deserved. Reform is an unexpectedly healing story with compassion at its core – and a thrillingly relentless pursuit of her pilfered dollars.

This is an electric hour of comedy and original music, empowered by both the rapidity of Brasier’s jokes and expressive vocal range. The back-and-forth messages between Brasier and Jacob – the rogue portrayed onstage by musician Tim Lancaster – injects the show with authenticity. An additional layer of humour emerges as Lancaster, Brasier’s partner and an eyewitness to the con, conveys incredulity through his expressions between songs and his turns as the swindler.

Beneath the surface of Reform lurks a profound question: Can people truly change? We tend to think of change in terms of ourselves – sincere or cynical it's 'personal growth'. Brasier broadens our perspective. It might be our response can shape each other’s capacity to change. And when we are wronged and we fail to respond to the wrongdoer with empathy and understanding it may narrow another's potential to reform. When we could all be out there doing good the Michelle Brasier way. So track down and corner the next unscrupulous bastard in your life with forgiveness in your heart.